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Best Survival Axe: Choosing the Right Axe for Your Survival Cache

Best Survival Axe
Russell McCarty
Written by Russell McCarty

Do you think that it’s important to carry a survival axe? Well, many outdoorsmen will agree that a survival axe or hatchet is an absolute EDC if you are frequently braving the wild. You use a survival axe for chopping, splitting and carving. This allows you to do things like making a fire, making feather sticks and building a shelter. However, you need a good quality and reliable tool for the job.

An essential tool for backpacking trips is a good-quality axe, one that is sturdy enough for heavy duty tasks, but also ergonomic and sleek enough to allow you to carry it on your belt and your backpack. We selected some excellent products and listed their characteristics to help you select the best survival axe for you needs.

ProductWeightDimensionMaterialPrice
Fiskars X71.4 pounds16.6 x 5.8 x 1.1 inchesSteelCheck price on Amazon
Estwing Sportsman1.9 pounds13 x 7 x 2 inchesSteelCheck price on Amazon
Schrade SCAXE21.4 pounds11.8 x 3.8 x 5.2 inchesStainless steelCheck price on Amazon
United Cutlery Hawk2.1 pounds17.5 x 10 x 1.5 inchesStainless steelCheck price on Amazon
Gerber Gator Combo2.7 pounds18.5 x 7.2 x 1.9 inchesSteelCheck price on Amazon
MTech USA Camping4 pounds6 x 11 x 1.5 inchesStainless steelCheck price on Amazon
Gerber Bear Grylls Survival2.2 pounds2 x 6 x 13 inchesStainless steelCheck price on Amazon
Yes4All Survival1.4 pounds1.1 x 8.6 x 15.5 inchesStainless steelCheck price on Amazon

What to look for when selecting an axe or a hatchet for your next camping trip

Well, first of all, it depends on the type of trip you are planning to take. If it’s your basic, family-weekend camping trip, all you need is a small hatchet to chop wood for the campfire.

Survival Axe

However, if you’re planning a wilderness adventure, things get a lot more complicated. You need a product that allows you not only to chop some firewood, but also to cut and split entire logs or to build a shelter.

Multifunctional tool

A multifunctional tool (one that, beside the main blade, has a saw or a spike) is a very good idea. Finding such a tool is not difficult, there are plenty of options; the trick is to find one that has all those options and, in the same time, is lightweight and ergonomic, allowing you to carry it on you during hiking or trekking.

Weight

When it comes to the weight of the axe, most people seem to have absolutely no problem with carrying a 1.5 to 2 pounds tool for an entire day. A heavier one (up to 4 pounds) is a good idea if you don’t plan on carrying it around and you’ll use it mostly at the campsite. Heavier axes are better when it comes to splitting and cutting logs, or if you’re planning to build a shelter.

Sturdiness

Another important fact to consider is sturdiness. The last thing you need is for your axe handle to break or for the head to become detached. Before purchasing a certain product, make sure that the handle is made of durable materials.

Survival Axe in the wild

A wood handle is comfortable because it transmits less vibration to your body when you are chopping or splitting something, but it is also less durable than fiberglass or plastic handles.

Another option is an all steel construction axe, that’s basically indestructible, but make sure it has high quality padding on the handle that allows a proper grip and safe use.

Maintenance aspect

Another important aspect to consider is keeping the axe in a good shape for the entirety of the trip.

If you’re planning to carry your hatchet on you during your entire camping trip, it needs a good sheath to protect the blade from damages and, more important, to protect your body from accidents. Also, pack a blade sharpener with you, in case the blade gets blunt.

Bring your survival axe

Most hatchets and axes on the market are made of stainless steel, which means that humidity and rust are not a problem for the blade. However, they might be a problem for the handle or the padding on the handle, so try to keep yours dry if possible.

Top Survival Axe of 2017

Fiskars X7 HatchetFiskars Hatchet

Price: Approx. $24.49

Weight: 1.4 pounds

Dimensions: 16.6 x 5.8 x 1.1 inches

Specific features: Proprietary blade grinding technique providing sharper edge, power to weight ratio that increases swing speed, ideal for chopping small to medium size logs

The Fiskars X7 Hatchet, designed in Finland and building on a 360-year tradition of forging tools, is an easy to carry choice for outdoors enthusiasts.

This light weighted hatchet can easily be used with one hand, and the virtually unbreakable handle is made of Nyglass (a type of fiberglass reinforced composite).

The hatchet’s head will not loosen due to insert molded design, while the sharp, forged carbon steel blade cuts with very little effort.  The combination of perfected weight distribution and advanced blade geometry allows the blade to cut three times deeper, compared to other blades. Each swing brings more blade penetration, saving time and effort.

The hatchet can be used for a variety of tasks, from chopping wood for building a fire to cutting your way through the forest.

PROS:

  • High quality
  • Lightweight
  • Sharp edge

CONS:

  • Hatchet is made of lower grade steel
  • On harder surfaces the edge is easily dinged and dented

Related: Acquiring this great hatchet is never enough. It is for this reason that customers who buy it also buy the Fiskars X27 Super Splitting Axe and the Fiskars Axe and Knife Sharpener. The Super Splitting Axe is great for taller people splitting medium to large sized logs. The sharpener has ceramic wheels that sharpen both sides of your knife or axe. It will ensure your knife or axe serves you better and for longer.

Check the price on Amazon

Estwing Sportsman AxeEstwing Sportsman Axe

Price: $65 – $76

Weight: 1.9 pounds

Dimensions: 13 x 7 x 2 inches

Specific features: An all steel construction fully polished with leather grip

The head and handle of the Estwing Sportsman Axe are forged in one steel piece, which gives the product very high durability. The axe is fully polished, and the handle has genuine leather grip and sheath.

Because the head of the axe doesn’t have an eye, its shape is rather unique, with very thin cheeks forming a concave shape and a rather thick cutting edge. The axe is a very good choice for outdoor activities and camping trips, because of its durability (you don’t have to worry about breaking the handle or the head becoming detached).

This axe is a relatively heavy one, and, combined with its sleek, ergonomic design, this characteristic makes it suitable for a huge variety of tasks, from chopping wood for your campfire to cutting small or medium size logs.

PROS:

  • Does not rust
  • Tough
  • Durable

CONS:

  • The handle is prone to slip because of the varnish on the handle
  • Heavy

Related: Survival always calls for chopping, chopping and more chopping. Customers who buy the Estwing Axe are always advised to buy the Spyderco Byrd Knife. It has been tested for quality and durability. You can trust that it will provide you with great service because it comes from a brand that has been in the market for a long time.

Check the price on Amazon

Schrade SCAXE2  HatchetSchrade SCAXE2 Survival Hatchet Black Handle

Price: Approx. $33.14

Weight: 1.4 pounds

Dimensions: 11.8 x 3.8 x 5.2 inches

Specific features: Titanium coated stainless steel blade; glass fiber handle with rubber grip; thermoplastic belt sheath

This Schrade Survival Hatchet is an excellent option for camping trips. Light and easy to carry, it helps you not only to chop the wood for a fire, but it also comes with an integrated fire-starting striker stored in the handle.

The rubber grip on the ergonomic handle allows accurate and safe use. The hatchet also comes with included sheath for the blade, which not only protects the blade, but also allows you to carry it on your belt without risking an injury.

PROS:

  • Strong handle
  • Comes sharpened
  • Has good grip
  • Light weight

CONS:

  • Smaller in size
  • The Kydex sheath is not well built

Related: Like any other hatchet or axe, the blade will need to be sharpened time after time. Customers who buy the Schrade hatchet also buy the Lansky Dual Grit Sharpener and the Norton Sharpening Stone Oil. The sharpener is easy to use and can be used with all kinds of blades and axes. The sharpening oil is a finely refined lubricant and great for various lubricating tasks.

Check the price on Amazon

United Cutlery Hawk AxeUnited Cutlery Hawk Axe

Price: Approx $38 

Weight: 2.1 pounds

Dimensions: 17.5 x 10 x 1.5 inches

Specific features: Anodized 8 inch stainless steel blade, 30 percent fiberglass reinforced nylon handle and snap-button closure belt sheath

The United Cutlery Hawk Axe is more than an axe: it’s a complex survival tool and the ultimate tactical weapon.

The axe is lightweight enough to allow you to carry it on your belt all day long without effort or fatigue, but the wide blade makes it ideal for chopping, slashing and cutting wood. Well balanced, the axe is just the right length to wield with one arm or two, depending on your preferences or what you’re using it for.

The secondary blade, located on the back side of the head, is sharpened on both edges. The blade and spike combo make this hawk axe a very efficient tool for camping, hunting or hiking.

PROS:

  • Comes sharp from the manufacturer
  • Great ergonomics
  • Light weight
  • Nice grip

CONS:

  • Kydex is not thick enough
  • The snap is of poor quality
  • In cold weather the handle easily breaks

Related: With the right tools you will always make it in the wild. Buyers are always advised to buy the United Cutlery Hammer and the United Cutlery Sword. The hammer is light weight and sturdy and just perfect for the jungle. The 24 inches long sword has been made of the highest quality material. Both the items come from a brand with an established name.

Check the price on Amazon

Gerber Gator Combo AxeGerber Gator Combo Axe

Price: Approx. $29.95

Weight: 2.7 pounds

Dimensions: 18.5 x 7.2 x 1.9 inches

Specific features: Forged steel blade; Glass filled nylon handle; Included saw held inside the handle magnetically

This Gerber Gator Combo Axe is one of your best choices for outdoors adventures. Sturdy, compact and multi-functional, the axe provides a high striking force due to the relatively long handle. The textured surface on the handle maximizes the grip for safe use.

The included saw, retained magnetically inside the handle, allows you to perform a variety of tasks: cleaning your campsite, cutting branches and around the house applications.

The head of the axe is made of forged steel, with great edge retention, sharp and ready to use. To protect the blade, the combo axe also comes with a nylon sheath.

PROS:

  • Durable
  • Firm grip
  • Easy to swing

CONS:

  • Comes dull
  • Velcro strap is too long and cannot ssecure the blade
  • The handle is too short for some users

Related: Armed with the right tools, you will have it easy and fun in the jungle. Customers also buy the Gerber Gorge Folding Shovel. The shovel operates in hammer mode for pounding in tent stakes.

Check the price on Amazon

MTech USA Camping AxeMTech USA Camping Axe

Price: Approx. $17.93

Weight: 4 pounds

Dimensions: 6 x 11 x 1.5 inches

Specific features: Compact and easy portable, the axe comes with a 3 inch stainless steel blade, durable rubber handle and a nylon sheath to cover the blade

Sturdy and compact, this MTech USA Camping Axe is also heavyweight enough to provide plenty of chopping and splitting power. The head is made of high-carbon stainless steel, giving the blade excellent edge retention and hardness.

The rubberized handle, built to withstand long-term, intense use, allows a good grip and safe use. Perfectly balanced and easy to carry, it’s a great product not only for outdoors adventures but also for around the house tasks.

PROS:

  • Fair price
  • Durable
  • Sharp
  • Easy to maintain

CONS:

  • Short handle
  • Imported
  • The sheath is a bad design

Related: In the even t you need to dig or chop something while out in the wild, the MTech axe may not really come through for you. That is why you will need to also buy the Multifunctional Military Shovel. With it you can dig, cut, pry, open a bottle and much more. It has a comfortable rubber grip handle and a pouch which can be attached to your belt or hung on your bag and thus very easy to carry.

Check the price on Amazon

Gerber Bear Grylls Survival HatchetGerber Bear Grylls Survival Hatchet

Price: Approx. $24.84

Weight: 2.2 pounds

Dimensions: 2 x 6 x 13 inches

Specific features: The 3.5 inch blade ensures swift, precise cuts; Ergonomic, non slip rubber grip; High carbon steel construction

Tested and approved by outdoors survival guru Bear Grylls himself, this Gerber Bear Grylls Survival Hatchet makes the ultimate tool for camping and hiking adventures.

Its compact size and slim profile make it easy to carry, but, with most of its weight concentrated in the head, this hatchet definitely chops and splits above its weight class.

The back of the blade features a striking surface that can be used for pounding your tent stakes and other types of campsite jobs. The handle is rubberized, creating a lock-tight grip even when wet.

Whether you need to chop wood for a fire or improvise a shelter, this sturdy stainless steel, full-tang construction stands up to the tasks. The hatchet comes with a mildew-resistant sheath and with loops that allow you to carry it on your belt or attached to your backpack.

PROS:

  • Sharp out of the box
  • Beautiful design
  • Tough
  • Innovative finger cut outs
  • Durable coating

CONS:

  • Dents easily
  • Does not work well as a hammer
  • Heavier as compared to others in the market

Related: To make it in any survival environment, you will need to use a fire and after some time quench your thirst. That is why you will also need to buy the Gerber Bear Fire Starter and the Lifestraw Personal Water Filter. The fire starter coming with a lanyard has a ferrocerium rod and a metal striker to ensure you have your fire up in a matter of seconds.  The water filter removes parasites and bacteria from any kind of contaminated water.

Check the price on Amazon

Yes4All Survival Axe

Yes4All Camping Hunting Survival Axe

Price: Approx. $18.49

Weight: 1.4 pounds

Dimensions: 1.1 x 8.6 x 15.5 inches

Specific features: A 3-5/8 420 high carbon stainless steel blade; Magnesium fire starter and nylon sheath included

Lightweight and with a sleek design, this Yes4All Survival Axe still features solid construction which makes it suitable for heavy duty tasks. Its solid, perfectly balanced body gives it plenty of power for strong, accurate blows.

The broad cutting blade is suitable for chopping, slashing and splitting. At the opposite end of the blade, there us a piercing spike sharpened on both edges, with multiple uses, such as punching and hooking.

Made of 420 grade stainless steel, this hunting and survival axe is designed to withstand rusting and severe weather.

The paracord handle offers a tight, comfortable grip, while the nylon sheath protects the blade during every day carrying. The Magnesium fire starter included makes it the perfect survival tool.

PROS:

  • Sharp
  • Fair price
  • Great quality
  • Lightweight

CONS:

  • Thin handle
  • Impossible to maintain a good grip when swinging the axe
  • Poor sheath

Related: Customers who buy this product also buy the SOG Entrenching Tool Folding Shovel and the SE Outdoor Knife. The knife comes with a fire starter to make your work easier out in the wild. With the lanyard wristlet and handle wrap it allows you to comfortably carry it around. The shovel is light weight and has a tri-folding design for the purposes of portability.

Check the price on Amazon

Final Words

Any of the products listed above are high-quality tools and you can rely on them during a camping trip. Pick any of them or a different one, if you think it suits your needs better. However, make sure you are getting a decent quality product.

Choose your Survival Axe

It’s not a good idea to save money on camping gear, as the stuff you’re getting literally protects you from the elements, provides you shelter and warmth in the middle of the wilderness. What other products do you think should be on our list?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Russell McCarty
Russell McCarty

Russell considers backpacking one of his great passions in life. He actually managed to transform his passion into a living becoming a professional adventurer. Russell loves long-distance backpacking and he enriched his portfolio with famous trails like the Alaska-Yukon Expedition or the Appalachian Trail. With thousands of miles under his feet, Russell is the expert to consult when it comes to how to prepare for a successful outdoor adventure.

  • Brian Taylor

    I bought YES4ALL Camping Hunting Survival Axe as a birthday gift for myself. I really like how it works. It is very sharp and easy weight, it cuts the wood very quickly and without much effort. I always put the axe in my backpack when I go on a hike.

  • Russell McCarty

    This tools is very lightweight, making it ideal to take on a hike or when you go camping. I also love the streamlined and sleek look of the axe. The blade is sturdy and made of high-quality stainless steel that makes it resistant to rust. Good choice of axe, Brian!

  • Sarah Adams

    My family goes camping every month. I always cook on a hike, and my husband chops wood and makes fire. For about a year now, my husband has been using the gerber bear grylls survival hatchet. He gets the job done very quickly.

  • Russell McCarty

    The Gerber Bear Grylls is a great axe to have. It is lightweight with most of the weight concentrated on the head part so you get seamless performance every time. It gets the job done with little effort on the user. The axe is also quite affordable, isn’t it?

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